Burke News

East Texas Business Recognizing Disability Inclusion in the Workforce in October

By Stefante Randall (KTRE Reporter), see the original story here.

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) – Every October, the U.S. Department of Labor observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is meant to bring awareness to disability inclusion in the workplace.

Burke Industries in Lufkin is among many East Texas businesses who not only observe NDEA Month, they also help disabled persons learn job skills and find the right employment for them.

“We have a Day Hab program and in this program, we teach individuals self-help skills,” said Deidra Davis, Day Hab Director of Burke Industries. “Then we have our vocational program where we have an emphasis on Read More »

Melanie Taylor Becomes CEO of Burke after Susan Rushing’s Retirement

By Grace Juarez, Reporter, Lufkin Daily News, see the original story here.

Melanie Taylor has taken the helm as CEO of Burke after Susan Rushing retired last week.

Rushing left Burke with 39 years of service to Burke, with 29 as CEO.

“It marks the end of my career at Burke, but it doesn’t end my care and commitment for the mission of Burke, the people of Burke and the people that we serve,” Rushing said. “It’s a great way to look back and see how far we’ve come, and I realize while I’m being celebrated, I didn’t do this by myself.”

Taylor enters the position with 32 years Read More »

Rushing, Burke CEO of 29 Years Retires

This week, Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke, was honored and celebrated at her retirement reception. After 39 years of service and 29 years as Burke Chief Executive Officer, Rushing was showered with appreciation and adoration.

Colonel Howard Daniel, Jr., Chair of Burke’s Board of Trustees presented a Board Resolution to acknowledge Rushing’s significant accomplishments at Burke and for the mental health and developmental disability community. Rushing was recognized as a diligent, effective, and knowledgeable advocate for services for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and substance use problems. She has worked to expand the scope and quality of care available to citizens throughout the Read More »

Burke’s Chair Colonel Daniel Recognized as Outstanding Volunteer

Burke CEO Susan Rushing and Burke Deputy CEO Melanie Taylor celebrate the recognition with Colonel Howard Daniel, Jr. and his wife Clara.

Last week, at the 34th Annual Texas Council Conference in Houston, Colonel Howard Daniel Jr., Chair of Burke’s Board of Trustees, was presented with the Frank M. Adams Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service Award. The award is presented annually during the Texas Council Conference and identifies individuals and organizations who exemplify excellent volunteer service in the Community Center system.

Col. Daniel is a leading example, providing specific support to frontline staff and ensuring they have the needs and tools to do their job confidently. Read More »

Rushing Recognized for Exemplifying the “Spirit of a Social Worker”

From left to right: Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, SFA School of Social Work Professor and Director of MSW Program, Susan Rushing, Burke CEO, Col. Howard Daniel, Burke Chairman of the Board, and Paul Jackson, Director of Community Relations.

On March 13, at the 24th Annual Mission Possible Conference in Nacogdoches, Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke, was presented with the Spirit Award by the SFA School of Social Work. The intent of the award is to identify and honor individuals who may not be social workers, yet they embody the spirit of social work practice.  According to Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, “The School of Social Work recognizes Ms. Read More »

Mental Illness Not to Blame for Gun Violence Study Finds

February 6, 2019

GALVESTON, Texas – Released from the UTMB Newsroom

Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms.

A study by researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked into the association between gun violence and mental health in a group of 663 young adults in Texas. Their results were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

“Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence,” said Dr. Yu Lu, Read More »

Burke’s Mental Health Emergency Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Burke’s Mental Health Emergency Center (MHEC), a ground-breaking program that has significantly improved crisis mental health services in east Texas while serving as an award-winning model for other regions throughout the state.
Burke’s MHEC was the nation’s first rural freestanding comprehensive psychiatric emergency service and the first to depend entirely on telemedicine for psychiatric care. Before the MHEC was established, people in mental health crisis often waited for extended periods in hospital emergency rooms—or sometimes in jails—as beds were sought in state or private psychiatric hospitals elsewhere in Texas, far from home and family.  With Read More »

Fifteen new Instructors certified to teach Youth Mental Health First Aid

Pictured top row from left are National Council Trainers Marina Pessrl and Eric Weaver. Newly trained instructors: Tina Engledow from Community Healthcore (CHC), Amy Moser from ESC-Region 6, Colleen Plair of Arlington ISD, Jami Poteet of ESC-Region 5, Whitney Murdock of Spindletop Center, Shannon Story of Burke, Patrica Deloney and Staci Cabbiness of CHC and Melissa Simmons of Burke; bottom row, Renee Todd of CHC, Denise Truax, Melody Sanchez and Shelby Martinez of Helen Farabee Center, and Monique Wicker and Kinnie Reina of Burke. Instructors are holding their Algee koalas, the mascot of the Mental Health First Aid program.
This summer, Read More »

CDC reports ‘suicide rising across the US’

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that incidences of suicide are rising across the U.S. Read more in their latest issue in Vital Signs – June 2018.
The article discussed why we should be concerned with the latest suicide data, that suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Texas saw a 19.6% rate increase.
Mental illness is often seen as the only cause of suicide. However, it is only one factor. Many factors contribute to suicide among those with and without mental health conditions: relationship problem (42%), problematic substance use (28%), crisis in the past or upcoming two weeks (29%), criminal legal problem (9%), physical health problem (22%), loss of housing (4%), and job/financial problem Read More »

Burke could be valuable resource for East Texas districts’ school safety plans

By Donna McCollum, Journalist, see the original KTRE story here.

Lufkin, TX (KTRE)
Students’ mental and behavioral health needs are listed as a top priority in Gov. Greg Abbott’s school and firearm safety action plan.
East Texas News learned that mental health professionals could be an excellent resource for both services and guidance to school districts.
Dr. James Smith, Burke’s chief clinical officer, praised Abbott’s call for more behavioral threat assessments within schools. But he prefaces that with…”A person with mental health issues is no more likely to commit an act of violence as an individual without mental health issues,” Smith said.
Smith said people trained to do threat assessments are less likely to jump to ill-informed conclusions.
“And that’s our biggest concern that then we’re Read More »